Chris Christie is one of the small number of prominent Republicans who have called for moderate immigration reform instead of xenophobia, but now that he’s going to run for president that position is a problem for him. Solution: Just change positions.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Monday that he does not support finding a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, making a complete shift from his previous position ahead of his likely presidential campaign announcement. The governor’s comments come less than two years after he won re-election in his immigrant-filled state by reaching out to minorities and promising benefits for undocumented immigrants.
New Jersey, where almost half of the population is a minority, is substantially more diverse than most U.S. states. Christie has previously supported a path to citizenship and has even signed legislation creating tuition equality for undocumented students to be able to pay in-state tuition. But in an interview with Fox News on Monday, Christie attempted to connect with the conservative base strongly opposed to President Obama’s executive action granting amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants.
“I think that’s an extreme way to go,” Christie said in the interview. “And I think that, quite frankly, what Hillary Clinton’s doing right now is pandering. That’s pandering. We need to have an intelligent conversation about this and bring the American people along to where we can find consensus.”
Christie himself admitted his opinion is in opposition to what he once believed and the policies he pushed in his home state. In 2010, he said in an interview that “the president and the Congress have to step up to the plate, they have to secure our borders and they have to put forward a commonsense path to citizenship for people.”
Uh, Governor Christie…changing your position so it’s in line with the views of the people you’re currently trying to get to vote for you is the very definition of pandering. If you’d like to have an intelligent conversation, you could start by not insulting the intelligence of the people you’re lying to right now.